Latteria di San Marco
Mamma's home-cooking meets Papa's odd alchemy at a moderately-priced restaurant in Milan's Brera district
Via S. Marco 24
In the lean times following World War II, many Milanese latterie (dairy shops selling milk, cheeses, other dairy products, and eggs) began to double as simple osterie, serving basic down-home dishes and offering meals on credit to a city that was rebuilding itself from the ruins of war. Several of these treasured cheap eats have survived, and none is more popular than this latteria in the heart of the artsy Brera district.
It's a tiny joint of just nine tables and no reservations. (Show up either at opening time—7:30pm—as the tables are packed within 15 minutes, or drop in around 9:30pm; they'll continue seating until 10pm).
The high walls are a confusion of framed oil paintings, prints of roses, and the occasional hand-scribbled praise gushing from an old place mat. These invariably compliment Arturo and Maria Maggi on their old-school Milanese cooking and friendly, family-run atmosphere (though not necessarily the service, which is swift but not always on the ball).
Arturo is a self-proclaimed alchemist, and has this idea that many foods are not yet completely "fermented" when we eat them, forcing our bellies to work overtime. Therefore he cooks in solid silver pots and pans, which he claims "...revive the fermentation process and purify the food, rendering it more easily digestible."
Well, the grub is certainly tasty, in large part due to Arturo's fondness for strongly flavored ingredients such as anchovies, fennel, peperoncino, and horse (which is a common commoner's meat in Italy; if you wish to avoid it, don't order anything called cavallo [horse] or asino [mule]).
- riso al salto (a delicious dish of leftover saffron risotto alla milanese sauteed in a pan of butter)
- spaghetti in an anchovy-based sauce spiked with red peppers and chopped parsley
- homemade pasta spirals tossed with fresh anchovies and chopped fennel)
- farro (emmer, a barley-like grain) served in a hot gooey mass of fresh mozzarella and diced tomatoes
- maccheroni served simply under a tomato sauce or coated with melted butter and cracked black pepper
- grilled curly endive
- horse filet flavored with rosemary
- a thin veal scallop flame-kissed on the grill; thick slice of roast beef cooked on an open grill.
For dessert, most regulars go with a cheese selection, though there's also a different homemade pie available every day.
- Dining in Milan: Typical dishes & best restaurants
- Aperitivi/stuzzichini (bars with free food)
- Wine in Milan and Lombardy
- Milan homepage
- Dining in Italy
- Dining terms and phrases
This material was last updated December 2010. All information was accurate at the time.
about | contact | faq
» THE REIDSITALY.COM DIFFERENCE «
Copyright © 2008–2012 by Reid Bramblett. Author: Reid Bramblett